Hardin Bapt. changes name, focus to ‘Venture’
    March 12 2010 by news release

    Hardin Baptist Church has changed its name to Venture and the resurgent congregation is seeking facilities in nearby Dallas in which to host a variety of new ministries as a venture in missions.

    A 90-year-old church about six miles from Dallas, Hardin’s facilities cannot accommodate the growth that now requires three services: one traditional and two “rocked out.”

    BR file photo by Norman Jameson

    Austin Rammell is pastor of the newly named Venture, formerly Hardin Baptist Church.

    Rather than spend millions of dollars on new facilities to accommodate the church family’s activities, pastor Austin Rammell says the church prefers to invest funds in ministry to others.

 The church changed its name to reflect its vision and passion to change the world, Rammell said.

    He listed several mission outreaches the church plans or is already doing. Several Venture members have trained with the school system to be mentors for at-risk students in North Gaston High School.

    “We have dared people to take on the awesome privilege of helping a teenager grow as a person, not just for the purpose of graduation but also for life as a whole,” said Rammell, a member of the Baptist State Convention Board of Directors.

    Because some poor children don’t eat on weekends when they have no school meals, Venture partners with Carr Elementary School to provide such children with backpacks stuffed with food for a weekend of meals.

    On Friday students pick up their backpack and return it on Monday. The church currently provides weekend meals to 16 children with a goal of 100.

    Venture has adopted the tough southeast Dallas district, which has a high incidence of arrests, drugs, gang problems, teen pregnancy and a serious lack of home ownership. 

    Rammell said Venture members have decided no longer “to drive by this neighborhood and act like it’s not there.”

    Believing home ownership is a key to revitalizing a neighborhood, they bought three building lots and donated two to Habitat for Humanity. The church has built one house and started a second in February.

    Long term, Venture plans to launch ministries in Dallas that “will have a massive impact on our efforts in southeast Dallas as well as in the call of scripture to ‘make disciples of all people,’” Rammell said.

    “We believe God has called us to turn Dallas upside down for Christ.”

    So Venture intends to launch a preschool and afterschool program for 200 children.

    A current program in their facilities is limited to 22 children and is distant from the population that needs it most. So the church is asking God for a building downtown Dallas in which to offer high quality, affordable childcare, tutoring and mentoring.

    The site would provide both employment for some and a significant place for Venture members to volunteer in significant ways.

    Given the right facilities in town, the church wants to establish both a Crisis Pregnancy Center and an overall crisis center to help people with through issues such as hunger, job placement, job training, adult education, alcoholism, drug addiction, etc.  

    To follow the venture www.DareToVenture.org.
    3/12/2010 5:03:00 AM by news release | with 0 comments

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